Movie-lovers who want to wager on the Academy Awards can put their money where their mouth is legally in the U.S. for the first time.
New Jersey sportsbooks are the first in U.S. history to legally accept bets on the Oscars outcome. While betting on the Academy Awards has been legal overseas for some time, this year marks the first time Americans will be able to do so with nine online sites in New Jersey taking bets.
The odds vary by sportsbooks and limits are low compared to sporting matches. Most books offer the odds on the winners in the big six categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress.
Odds for a tight Best Picture race range from the favourite “Roma” (odds are as low as 1 to 2) to the dark horse “Vice” (as high as 800 to 1) according to PlayUSA.com. This year’s awards race is difficult to predict for bettors due to mixed results and indicators in the lead-up to the Feb. 24 ceremony.
“Looking at the classic indicators of who will win Best Picture, the results are all over the map. While ‘Roma’ may be the frontrunner, it is far from a guaranteed winner, which means one of these underdog winners could result in big payday for those who back them,” says Jessica Welman, movie historian and betting analyst for PlayUSA.com.